Skyler Kilborn and Logan Grimé are the masterminds behind electro-pop band Midi Matilda. The duo’s new single, “I Never Was”, is only the third of a year-long string of monthly releases, the first two being “Golden Stallion” and “Apple Pie.” For every month this year, the band is releasing a new song, along with an hour video and audio podcast that dive into the nuts and bolts behind each creation.
Nearly a decade in the making, “I Never Was” encapsulates what Midi Matilda is all about. The duo is also expected to perform at Madame Siam in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 23rd for the We Found New Music Showcase. I sat down with the band to learn more about the new single and accompanying projects.
First and foremost, how did you guys decide on the band name ‘Midi Matilda’?
Logan Grimé: The name starts at my great great great grandmother Mini Matilda de calca jour. My dad was a songwriter/producer and in the early ’90s had a friend of his mock up a drawing of a sort of music robot that could create music on its own and named it Midi Matilda. My dad passed away when I was 16, but that drawing was really inspiring to me and we decide to use it as our band name. Still, have the drawing framed in my studio.
Could you talk a little about the inspiration behind your latest single, “I Never Was”?
Skyler Kilborn: I wrote this song almost ten years ago actually. It’s hard for me to remember what I was going through at that time but the song is about feeling like I wasn’t good enough, then finding confidence, then losing it again. In general, I hope the song can speak to anybody who may be going through similar ups and downs.
Is it true that this song has been nine years in the making? How has it changed during that time? What made you choose to wait so long?
Skyler Kilborn: Yea that’s right, it’s one of the first songs we made as a duo. It went through many different changes over the years but funny enough where it ended up is much closer to how it was originally written. It probably took as long as it did because of how many times we tried to improve it. It feels like we’ve repeatedly learned the lesson of not being too hard on our songs in the early stages of the writing process and letting them be. But I guess that’s the journey.
Logan Grimé: This track was started, and just sort of abandoned. We didn’t know how to finish it. And so it just sat. It was always exciting to listen to the early version of it, but not until we cracked it open a few months ago did we feel that we could find a clear path to the finish line.
If you could pick any movie for “I Never Was” to be featured in, what would it be?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. It’s a solid piece of cinema and this song’s placement would be an honor.
Where did the idea to release monthly singles come from?
Logan Grimé: It’s what we want from the artists we love. So we think we should do that. It keeps us in a great flow of creativity by trying new ideas. I think it’s very healthy to not be too precious with any one song. That was always hard for us in the past and now we have this really cool flow of 1. Create 2. Release. Rinse and repeat.
Tell me more about the Midi Moments! What inspired you to give fans such an inside look at the song-creating process?
Logan Grimé: It’s the same concept with the regularity of the songs each month. We would love this from our heroes. Which means…we need to do it. We have the ability to make something that is an inspiring idea to us and is coming from an untapped angle from artists.
Would you consider continuing a podcast even after this year is over?
Logan Grimé: Absolutely. All we are really doing is hanging out anyways. I always thought it was the most genuine way we could throw our personalities on the web. Its a pain in the ass some time to craft a nugget that fits in a 10-second bite that really shows who you are. We want to connect with those who dig what we do.
Explain the personal and professional struggles you’ve encountered in the music industry thus far. How have they molded you?
Skyler Kilborn: Back in 2013 our former manager Steve Brodsky passed away due to leukemia. That was really hard at the time, not only because he was a huge force in the music industry and in our band but also a close friend. We had recently signed to a label and he was crucial in handling that relationship and pretty much everything else for us. Eventually, we found our current manager/badass Jason Lekberg and things have been improving ever since but losing Steve was very hard.
Logan Grimé: Everything Skyler said. The closer we can approach creating art as if nobody is watching, the better.
Have you ever doubted your choice to form a band and pursue music? If so, what’s kept you going?
Skyler Kilborn: Honestly, I’ve never doubted my choice to pursue music, but I’d be lying if I said that our road as a band hasn’t been a long and sometimes difficult one. But at the end of the day, Logan and I have become pretty fluent collaborators and we continue to improve and reinvent ourselves. That experience is priceless. We’ve always needed to work harder than others and we’ve done almost everything ourselves, from music videos to music production to songwriting, but at this point, I feel like we can pretty much do anything we want now and do it well.
Tell me about a moment in your career that has left you extremely proud.
Skyler Kilborn: Being from The Bay Area there isn’t anything much cooler than playing Outsidelands in SF. I felt a lot of pride when we did that.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
Skyler Kilborn: I have so many, but at the moment James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem comes to mind. He had to stick to his music for a long before he found his success, and I’m just a big fan of the dude.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists in the field? How has your success story panned out?
Skyler Kilborn: Passion is key. You must find real enjoyment in what you make, and never do it for any other reason. I’m not sure about my success story, but I’m really enjoying what I’m doing right now.
Feature Image Courtesy of Midi Matilda